Tuesday, August 27, 2013

ARC Review: Relic by Renee Collins

RelicTitle: Relic
Author: Renee Collins
Publisher/Publication Date:  Entangled Teen, August 27, 2013
Format/Source: E-ARC, Publisher
Age Range: YA

AMAZON     BARNES & NOBLE     GOODREADS





Summary from Goodreads

After a raging fire consumes her town and kills her parents, Maggie Davis is on her own to protect her younger sister and survive best she can in the Colorado town of Burning Mesa. In Maggie’s world, the bones of long-extinct magical creatures such as dragons and sirens are mined and traded for their residual magical elements, and harnessing these relics’ powers allows the user to wield fire, turn invisible, or heal even the worst of injuries. Read More

My Thoughts

After reading the summary of Relic by Renee Collins, I was really excited to read the book. I was intrigued by the Old West setting, so I eagerly took the plunge but was disappointed to find that the story wasn’t as I’d imagined. The history pertaining to the power of  relics was interesting, but when considering that this book was categorized as a young adult novel, I just couldn’t get over some of the content. In the beginning it seemed like Maggie was evolving into a strong heroine. After she was faced with the tragedy of losing her parents, it seemed that Maggie had started to overcome adversity as she found a job as a hostess at a saloon and cared for her sister. Okay, so here’s the problem, Maggie was only 16, and she worked in a saloon that employed dancers who also worked as prostitutes. The behavior of her boss, Connelly, can be described as nothing less than repugnant. He had a crass attitude and treated the young female employees like property and a paycheck. I personally found Connelly’s behavior so distasteful that I did not finish this book.
 
I received an e-arc of Relic by Renee Collins from the publisher in exchange for an honest review, thank you.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Entangled Teen Launch Party & Giveaway!



Welcome to the Entangled Teen ember, a division of Entangled Teen August 26th launch party! Today, we're celebrating the release of DARKER DAYS  by Jus Accardo CHAOS by Christine O’Neil!

DARKER DAYS by Jus Accardo
 




Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...

When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

Seven deadly ones, in fact.

They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...

There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything.



Jus Accardo: Website/Twitter/Facebook


CHAOS by Christine O’Neil



My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly I can kill people when I lose my temper. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this---annoying and super-hot---guy all up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this council for semis that wants me dead. They think I'm bad to the bone and when my ex suddenly dies, it's like everyone is determined to take me out. Mac might turn out to be my only salvation, but he's got secrets of his own---that may just kill us both.


Christine O’Neil: Website/Twitter/ Goodreads



To celebrate, Entangled is giving away a Nook Simple Touch US Only and 2 copies of each book International! Check out the Rafflecopter below to enter.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Movie, Book, or Both: Pacific Rim

    So there's an occasional thing we like to do on Our Thoughts Precisely.  We'll go see a movie and then read the book after to see if there are any differnces, if it's more detailed, and whatnot.  All to see if we like the Movie, the Book, or Both.  This time around after reviewing Pacific Rim (the movie), and you can find the review HERE, I decided to give the novel version a try.  Read on to see what I thought about it.

Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization
Title:Pacific Rim: The Official Movie Novelization (Click title for Synopsis)
From Director: Guillermo Del Toro
Story by: Travis Beacham
 Screenplay by Travis Beacham & Guillermo Del Toro
Novelization by Alex Irvine
Source/ Format: Purchased, Mass market paperback
Publisher/ Publication Date: Titan Books, July 16, 2013
My thoughts:
 
     So you know, some time ago I reviewed Pacific Rim, well in recent times I read the novel adaption for it.  I liked the movie and it shouldn’t come as a big surprise that I enjoyed the novelization as well.  I feel like it goes into all the details that you miss when seeing the movie—there were more explanations to certain situations, and I have to say that I liked the answers I got.  Everything from how the first neural handshake between two pilots happened, to more about the characters themselves, as well as the effects that Drifting and piloting a Jaeger had on a person.  Such as the Drift Hangover, I found the theories about it fascinating that there was more to the Drift than what they originally thought.  Not only that, but we learned more about the Kaiju, and just what Newt’s drift with the piece of the brain had really done.  This book was fantastic, and I saw Pacific Rim from a whole new angle.  Oh, and don’t even get me started on the characters.  It’s one thing to watch the movie and see the characters as they experiencing these events.  But it’s another to actually be in their head and seeing all of the stuff left unsaid.  So in this case, I have to say that I enjoyed both the movie and the book about equally.  If you saw Pacific Rim and loved it, I definitely recommend reading the official novelization.
 
 
Favorite lines
“He’s a kaiju groupie,” Gottlieb said.  “He loves them.”—pg. 65
“Unscientific aside,” he said.  “Herman, if you’re listening to this, I’m either alive and proving what I’ve just done, in which case ha! I won!”—pg. 125
“Today, we are canceling the apocalypse.”—pg. 287

Thursday, August 22, 2013

ARC Review: Darker Days by Jus Accardo


 
Title: Darker Days (The Darker Agency, #1)
Author: Jus Accardo
Publisher/Publication Date:  Entangled Publishing, August 26, 2013
Format/Source:  E-ARC, Publisher 
 
Summary
     Jessie Darker goes to high school during the day, but at night she helps with the family investigation business. Cheating husbands and stolen inheritances? They’re your girls—but their specialty is a bit darker. Zombie in your garage? Pesky Poltergeist living in your pool? They’ll have the problem solved in a magical minute. For a nominal fee, of course...
     When gorgeous new client, Lukas Scott, saunters into the office requesting their help to find a stolen box, it sounds like a simple case—until the truth comes out. The box is full of Sin.

     Seven deadly ones, in fact.
     They’ve got five days to recapture the Sins before they're recalled by the box, taking seven hijacked human bodies with them. Easy peasy—except for one thing...
     There’s a spell that will allow the Sins to remain free, causing chaos forever. When the key ingredient threatens the life of someone she knows, Jessie must make the ultimate choice between love and family—or lose everything. 
 

My Thoughts 

     Darker Days by Jus Accardo started out as a lighthearted paranormal book. At first I thought that the storyline was amazing. I liked the bits of humor spread throughout the story as the Darkers investigated unusual paranormal events. The writing style and pacing were good. Jessie’s investigative skills were a little messy yet entertaining. And some of the characters were just priceless, especially Mr. Winkie who showed up at the most inopportune times. At times there was crude language, but that wasn’t the bad part. My major issue with Darker Days was one of the key players, Vida better known as Lust. The events surrounding this character were cringe worthy and I had a difficult time discerning the target audience. There was an instance in the book in which one of the characters didn’t want to tell when she found herself in a bad situation. So, I started to question whether this sends the wrong message to teens/young adults. Yes, I understand that the seven sins had a hold on some of the townspeople, but there are just certain behaviors/situations that deserve consequences/corrective actions, even in fiction. And I totally get that young adult books of today try to capture the harsh reality of life, but there are just some things that shouldn’t be broached in books for teens.

     I read until I reached the beginning of page 173 before I decided to call it quits. Overall, Darker Days has a promising premise that can be transformed into an amazing story with some changes.
 
I received an ARC of Darker Days from the publisher for an honest review, thank you.

Review: Shelter (A Mickey Bolitar Novel) by Harlan Coben

Title:  Shelter (A Mickey Bolitar Novel)
Author:  Harlan Coben
Publisher/Publication Date:  Speak, August 21, 2012
Format/Source:  Paperback, Purchased

Goodreads Summary

The stunning young adult debut from international bestseller Harlan Coben is now in paperback!

Mickey Bolitar's year can't get much worse. After witnessing his father's death and sending his mom to rehab, he's forced to live with his estranged uncle Myron and switch high schools. Fortunately, he's met a great girl, Ashley, and it seems like things might finally be improving. But then Ashley vanishes. Mickey follows Ashley's trail into a seedy underworld that reveals that Ashley isn't who she claimed to be. And neither was Mickey's father. Soon Mickey learns about a conspiracy so shocking that it leaves him questioning everything about the life he thought he knew.
Read More

My Thoughts

Okay so I got bamboozled into buying Shelter by Harlan Coben after reading the sample chapters online. Some of the content was just so inappropriate that my jaw dropped and I can’t even pick my lip up off the floor. For a YA book, the scene at the "Plan B Go-Go Lounge" in which a teen was admitted with a fake identification was just preposterous. Do I need to say anymore? I can’t believe I had to DNF two books in one weekend. My only advice is to consider the target audience…..
 

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

ARC Review: The Time Fetch by Amy Herrick

The Time FetchTitle:The Time Fetch (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: won, bound ARC
Age Range: Middle Grade
Publisher/Publication Date: Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, August 27, 2013



My Thoughts


     When I first read what The Time Fetch was about I was pretty ecstatic to read it.  After all, it presented an interesting take on time, and seemed like it would have characters that I would enjoy reading about.  I really wanted to get into this book, but the pacing felt a little slow.  From the summary, I thought it was going to take off running and detail the extraordinary events surrounding the Time Fetch.  But it didn’t.  The Time Fetch went a little too clich├ęd when it came to the characters, especially Edward.  I didn’t like very much about him from the way he handled Feenix, to even the way he treated his aunt.  For a middle grade book the name calling that seemed to plague Feenix’s POV left me a little baffled.  I get that she gave everyone nicknames, but I found it a little rude with the names that she was calling them.  The part with the Time Fetch didn’t even really happen until farther into the book, and even then I felt like it was a little rushed.  I wished that The Time Fetch would have focused a little more on the, you know, the Time Fetches.  When the Time Fetches finally made an appearance I really got into the story, and I enjoyed those parts more than most of the book.  I think the little Time Fetch bugs and Edwards aunt are what really saved the story for me.  So I'll give it a three. 
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Excuse us...

Today we're working on updating the blog background and header.  Some things may or may not work during that time.  So, um yeah, that's all I really had to say.

*Update
Ok that went a whole lot quicker than I thought it would.  Well here it is, the new look for Our Thoughts Precisely!  It's not as plain as the old version and I like the fact that it has more color to it.  So tell me, what do you think?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Review: Midnight Frost by Jennifer Estep

Midnight Frost (Mythos Academy, #5)Title:Midnight Frost (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Purchased, Paperback
Age Range: YA
Publisher/Publication Date: K-Teen, July 30, 2013




My Thoughts:
    
     Jennifer Estep is at it again with another wonderful addition to the Mythos Academy series!  After waiting for some time to get my copy, I was anxious to read it.  While some parts may have been slightly same-old-same-old with a familiar feel to them.  Midnight Frost is easily one of the best books I’ve read all year.  Combined with skillful writing, lovable characters, adorable yet dangerous mythological beasts, Midnight Frost was awesome. 

     Midnight Frost picks up where Crimson Frost left off, with Gwen dealing with the fallout of the events that transpired.  I liked that fact that she was still struggling with what happened, and not suddenly all ok with it just out of the blue.  Her reaction to it was realistic, which made me like her as a main character even more.  On the topic of Gwen, well her friends were great as always.  They were loyal and always had her back when times got rough.  And oh, Logan, why were you so absent?  But when he did finally show up, and when they finally did talk, well, I can’t really say—if you want to know, read the book.

     The plot, wow, it was filled with Reapers who kept showing up everywhere.  I really enjoyed the action scenes, and the descriptions really helped me visualize what was going on and where it was happening.  Secrets that have been surrounding Gwen and her family from book one are finally solved, and I liked the way Estep handled the big reveal.  The writing style was strong as always, which made Midnight Frost an easy book to get into.  I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I can’t wait for the next one to come out.  {Actual rating 4.5}

Friday, August 9, 2013

ARC Review: A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris


A Tale of Two Centuries (My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, #2)
 
Author: Rachel Harris
Publisher/Publication Date: Entangled Teen, August 6, 2013
Format/Source: E-ARC, Publisher
Amazon     B&N     Goodreads  
 
 Book Summary from Goodreads
 
Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.

One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.

With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?
 
 

My Thoughts

I really enjoyed reading A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris. Harris presented an interesting take on time travel.  Even though I didn’t read book one, the book contained sufficient background information so I could fully understand the characters and the overall storyline.   I liked how Harris presented the differences between societal norms and teens of today versus those of the past. The descriptions were vivid and it was easy to become engrossed in the book.
The only problem I had with A Tale of Two Centuries was the underage alcohol use in a setting that that wasn't appropriate for teens. And it didn’t really seem realistic for a California Bar. I understand the fact that Alessandra traveled from a time period in which there were a lot of restrictions and she went a little wild with her new found freedom. However, there were references to using alcohol to relax, and the characters were only 16. In my opinion that just sends the wrong message to young adults. Yes, underage drinking is an issue in society, but I would love to see more YA books moving away from the inclusion of this behavior.
I received an e-arc of A Tale of Two Centuries from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review, Thank You.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Review: The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

The Rithmatist (Rithmatist #1)Title:The Rithmatist (Click title for Synopsis)
Source/Format: Won, Hardback
Age range: YA
Publishder/Publication Date: Tor Teen, May 13, 2013




My Thoughts:

     Let me just say that I will never ever look at chalk the same way I did before I read this book.  I can’t express to you how much I absolutely adored The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson.  I’ve read good things about his other books, so I was excited to start this one—his first young adult novel.  And let me just tell you, the world of The Rithmatist is just brilliant—it was so unlike anything I’ve read this year. 

     The characters were phenomenal in their respective roles.  On one hand we have Joel, someone who feels he missed his chance to become a Rithmatist.  And on another we have Melody, a Rithmatist with some questionable skills, and a few hidden talents.  I love the way Melody and Joel’s friendship developed throughout the book.  It developed over time, rather than all at once, and I liked seeing the interactions they had with each other.  There was also no shortage of character development present in The Rithmatist, with both Melody and Joel seemingly developing a sort of comfort with their own skills.  The secondary characters were also well-written, with Professor Fitch in particular being one of my favorite characters. 

    And then there was the story itself.  The plot was so good that I read The Rithmatist in a few hours, and I was left wanting the sequel more than ever.  Right from page one I found myself immersed in the wonderful world that Sanderson had created.  I can’t say much about the plot, because I don’t want to reveal any spoilers by accident.  But just know that the ending left me hanging, and now I wish that I’d taken more time to read The Rithmatist rather than speeding through it.  Part of my enjoyment of this book came from the fact that it was a YA book with no romance.  It makes me wish that there were more YA books like it out there.  And those are my thoughts precisely.  So, do I even need to say what my rating for this one will be?  Seriously, I recommend this one to everyone!

 
 
Check out the trailer below
 
 

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Chaos by Christine O'Neil

Today Christine O’Neil and Entangled Teen Ember are revealing the cover for book 1 in The Kardia Chronicles Series, CHAOS. Coming out this August!

On to the reveal!




Blurb
My name is Maggie Raynard. After sixteen years being just plain me, suddenly I can kill people when I lose my temper. Turns out I'm a semi-god, descended from Aphrodite. Sounds cool in theory, but when I accidentally put my ex-boyfriend in a coma, things go downhill pretty fast.

Now some new guy named Mac Finnegan has made it his mission in life to continually piss me off. I'm stuck learning how to use my new powers while also dealing with regular high school problems, and with this--annoying and super-hot--guy all up in my business, I'm about to flip out.

But it gets worse. I just learned there's this council for semis that wants me dead. They think I'm bad to the bone and when my ex suddenly dies, it's like everyone is determined to take me out. Mac might turn out to be my only salvation, but he's got secrets of his own--that may just kill us both.



Exclusive Excerpt

I was done with guys.



Not in that fake, I-say-that-but-deep-down-I-really-want-a-boyfriend kind of way, but in, like, the seriously-I'd-rather-eat-maggoty-cheese kind of way. No relationships. Not for me. Not now and maybe not ever. Who I am…what I am, and what I’m capable of? Everyone’s better off this way.

"I have to stop at my locker real quick," I said, veering to the right and cutting through the crush of kids heading straight like wildebeests to a watering hole. Libby followed and then stood by me as I fiddled with the lock.

"What's that?" She pointed to a white piece of paper sticking out half an inch from one of the slots in the olive metal door.

I tugged the padlock open and flicked the catch with my thumb. "Dunno." Maybe Bink had left me another note. Bink was my neighbor, bud, and—most days—my ride home. Last time I’d found a note in my locker, it was when his cell phone died and he needed to bail early. I seriously hoped this wasn’t a repeat performance.

I mentally ran down the list of people I could bug for a ride and came up empty. Libby always had to stay after for some activity or another, and I only really had two other people I could call "friends" and neither lived near me. I wrinkled my nose in anticipation of the dirty-sneakers-meets-day-old-bologna smell of a bus filled with kids who'd had last-period gym and opted not to change clothes. 

With a sigh, I pulled open the door and the white rectangle floated to the floor.

Libby bent to grab it and read it out loud. "'Dear Sad and Lonely…'" She trailed off and went quiet 
for a few seconds until her peachy complexion went hot pink, and then she gasped. "Oh my God. 
Holy… Oh, Mags, you are so not going to like this."

I snatched the paper from her, trying to ward off the growing pit in my gut.

Dear Sad and Lonely,

Since I can almost guarantee She is about to give you some seriously shite advice like she does every week, let me be the voice of reason. Your boyfriend is just like most high school guys. Cut him some slack and, even better, why not offer to learn how to play some of the games he likes? He'd probably appreciate the effort and might even take you somewhere nice after. If that doesn't work, sit him down and let him know how you're feeling so he can tell you what's going on with him. Could be that constantly calling the things he likes stupid isn't the best way to get what you want in this situation, yeah? In any case, don't let the ramblings of some bitter emo chick who's probably never had a boyfriend ruin your relationship.

Hope it helps,
He

The shock was too thick to let the anger in right away, but as stunned as I was, I knew exactly who was behind this. There was only one person in the whole school who would use the word “shite.”
Mac Finnegan.

Opinionated, annoying, hot—did I mention annoying?—Mac Finnegan, who had barely given me the time of day since he'd come to Crestwood High a couple months ago. Mac Finnegan, who thought he was soooo cool with his Irish accent and his mocking smile. Mac Finnegan, who inexplicably made me want to lick him like an ice cream cone and then immediately rinse my mouth out with acid.

How had he discovered my secret? Only Bink and Libby knew I was the girl behind “That's What She Said,” and I would have bet everything I owned that neither of them would have ratted me out.

Didn’t matter, though. One way or another, he knew. Even worse, he'd chosen to taunt me with it. Bitter emo chick who’s probably never had a boyfriend, indeed. I had a boyfriend once and it hadn’t ended well for either of us. I was in no rush to repeat the experience. Besides, what did this Irish asshat care?

Anger tightened my chest. I could feel the power rising in me, clawing to get out, roaring to be heard. The hair on my arms stood on end as I tried to breathe through it, to let the fury dissipate and flow out of my pores in harmless pings of energy, but it was no use. I pressed a hand to my locker and opened up the tiniest of escape valves, the spout of the teakettle, whistling off a stream of steam. The cheap metal instantly heated against my skin, the door buckling and warping on the spot just beneath my fingertips.

"Uh, Mags—" Libby whispered urgently, but a male voice cut her off.

"How's it going there, Libby? Maggie."

I turned around, still trying to catch my breath, and there he was, strolling by, a grin splitting his sinfully beautiful face.

Mac Finnegan, who had decided that being the new kid wasn't bad enough, so he had to actively go out of his way to make enemies. Mac Finnegan, who wanted to turn my world upside down rather than minding his own business. Mac Finnegan, who didn't know the meaning of live and let live.

Mac Finnegan, who clearly had no idea who he was fucking with.
 


About Christine:

Christine O'Neil was born and raised in Connecticut, where she spent most of her childhood outdoors catching salamanders, frogs and colds. When she wasn't terrorizing Mother Nature, she was curled up under the covers with her nose in a book. As an adult, she's stopped stalking amphibians, but still loves books. When she isn't reading, she likes to spend her time people-watching. In fact, she's probably watching you RIGHT NOW O_O She's also pretty obsessed with writing YA books, but if she had to pick another profession she would be a ninja...or a Professor of the Dark Arts.
 
So, there's a giveaway to go along with this.  Just follow the instructions on the raffelcopter form to be entered.

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